In Part II of Physiology of the Skin: The Impact of Glycation on the Skin,1, 2 the chemistry and physiology of glycation was discussed including its impact on skin physiology as well as skin appearance. Recent studies indicate that the appearance of aging skin, manifested by wrinkles, dryness and loose skin, correlates well with auto-fluorescent measurements of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) within the skin.
UPDATE 1. Elastin and Collagen
There is more information accumulating in the literature that points to glycation effects as a major cause of aging. Chief among these is the cross-linking of collagen and elastin by individual AGE components. Cross-linked collagen becomes almost non-functional and is completely non-functional in some cases. The loss of these two structural proteins essentially causes the skin to collapse, and it becomes thinner, loose and discolored. The discoloration is a consequence related to glycation, and there appears to be considerable association with the glycation process itself.
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